Skip to main content

Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

See other formats

380                                  LIFE   OF
France ; but their demands were not supported by
Austria, and opposed by Russia and England, so that
they were unsuccessful in this respect; but it was not
their fault that the expectations raised by this congress
were not realized. As the details of this period have
not yet been published, and the generalities are
matters of histor}^, we can only state that here, as in
"Vienna, Humboldt Js activity was untiring, and that
his patriotism excited the indignation of the French,
who considered themselves aggrieved by his demands.
Of the indemnification paid by France, Prussia and
England received 25,000,000 francs in advance,
300,000,000 like the other powers, and 22,000,000
for the defence of the lower Rhine. The peace was
signed on the 20th November,, 1815 : the French-
Pussian document by Hichelieu, Hardenberg, and
Humboldt, On the same day, the other treaties
were signed, one concerning the contributions, a
second on the military occupation under the Duke of
Wellington, and a third very comprehensive one,
concerning reclamation from all parts of Europe.
This last treaty caused great trouble, and was only
carried by Humboldt's perseverance and activity.    It
Is owing to him that all the literary and artistic trea-
sures carried away by Napoleon, from Italy, and various
parts of   Germany,  were   restored to their   original
owners ; and especially the university of Heidelberg
owes to his exertions the  restitution of very valuable
and arare manuscripts and documents.    W. Eken, in
his cc History of the Formation,  Spoliation, and De-
struction of the Heidelberg Libraries," says :  cc That
our hope to regain these 850 valuable and singular
manuscripts was fulfilled,  is owing  entirely  to   the
zealous and patriotic assistance of his excellency the
Prussian minister, "William von Humboldt.JJ
Humboldt had less time for social intercourse in
Paris than he had had in Vienna. And the Prus-
sians had less inclination for it, as the angry feeling
against them was very high. But Humboldt asso-
ciated with many who could separate intellectual and